CBS NEWS – ‘Tis the season for sneezing and coughing — but in some cases, it could be what’s inside your house this holiday that’s making you feel less-than-merry: your Christmas tree.
Referred to as “Christmas Tree Syndrome,” experts say it can cause your indoor allergies to flare up. It’s not an allergy to the tree itself, but what’s lurking on it.
“When you bring in a Christmas tree into the home, people have worsening allergy symptoms,” says Dr. DeVon Preston, an allergist at Cleveland Clinic. He says it’s not pine pollen from real trees causing the problem, as people often think.
“It’s more of the weed pollens and mold spores that are collecting on the Christmas trees, and then you bring them into the home and then those pollens kind of drop off and make a lot of your symptoms worse,” he explains. “People just don’t think about the fact that they may need to clean their trees off before bringing them in the home.”
Experts told CBS News Texas that it’s best to rinse off real trees with a significant amount of water and shake them while still outdoors in order to remove some of the access allergens and irritants.
Having an allergy to pine trees is actually uncommon, but doctors say the pine smell can irritate the sinuses and lungs.
“If they’re using a live tree, it’s a pine tree and those aren’t pollinating in the middle of winter. But they’re live things that are dying and what grows on dying things is mold” …